Mountain Dew was banned in more than 100 countries outside of the United States when those countries banned drinks containing BVO. BVO stands for brominated vegetable oil, a highly controversial additive that is commonly used in American drinks.
According to AARP, BVO is a chemical that is commonly used to prevent carpets from catching on fire. Many have questioned the use of flame retardant materials in common household foods, including numerous countries around the world. Although PepsiCo agreed to remove BVO from Gatorade, it refused to remove the ingredient from its Mountain Dew products, and the popular beverage was subsequently banned in all countries that banned BVO.
In a 2013 article, ABC News reported that BVO is used in soft drinks to prevent the flavor from separating from the beverages. The chemical is also internationally reported to be corrosive and even toxic to humans, raising serious concerns about its acceptability as a food item. In the same article, a PepsiCo spokesperson assured American consumers that BVO is a safe substance to consume in their Mountain Dew Products. Others have expressed concerns about the use of any bromine substance in food, citing corrosive properties similar to bleach that may or may not pose concerns to human health if consumed.